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Planning for long-term care with a dementia diagnosis

Your mother's dementia diagnosis is tough on your family, but as a result, certain things need addressing. For starters, her long-term care plan needs revisiting and revising. While she is only in the first stage of the disease, it may start progressing quickly.

Planning care for a loved one with dementia takes special consideration and time. Knowing what to do and making sure it gets done prior to admission is tantamount to a seamless transition.

Financial resources may run out

The biggest hurdle people with dementia diagnosis may face is the financial burden. Long-term care, often called memory care facilities, have specialized security measures and trained staff. Therefore, the cost of living in such a place may exceed what Medicare or private insurance will cover. One of the first things to do when planning for this type of care is to gather all the financial information in your mother's possession and have a professional help you put together a plausible long-term care blueprint.

Understand the care and treatment plan will change

A dementia diagnosis is ever-changing, and it can happen slowly over time or very quickly. The disease has seven stages, and depending on where in those your mom's personal situation falls, your planning may have to accelerate. Where she falls in this chart will help guide the course of care:

  1. Pre-dementia
  2. Subtle changes in cognitive ability
  3. Mild differences get slightly worse
  4. Moderate changes in cognitive functioning
  5. Moderately-severe worsening in functioning
  6. Severe dementia
  7. Critical dementia

As your mother progresses through this list, care plans will change. She will most likely need a memory care facility around Stage 5 if not sooner. Know, too, that dementia is not just a change in cognitive function, but it can also change a person's personality drastically as the disease evolves.

Dealing with an illness like dementia is difficult enough, especially when it is your mother or other loved one. Planning a long-term care strategy will alleviate some of the stress of the diagnosis.

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At Hodges Law Firm, we handle a wide range of legal issues for clients throughout the Atlanta area, including elder law, estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning and protection, asset protection, litigation, and business law and services. We are knowledgeable in the law and understand the real life implications of legal actions.